Book Project – Resources

Resources page imageThis page has resources I have found especially helpful in learning to self-publish and in mentoring my students about the process. The list on this page will continue to grow as our project develops.




    • APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch – After browsing around for a good overall guide on self-publishing, I liked this book the best and used it extensively. The authors provide many available options and good recommendations with pros and cons for each. This website for the book also has a “Tools and Resources” section that has a book template I modified for my students which was very helpful.
    • – This is an Amazon company that allows you to self-publish paperbacks on demand with no money up front. The APE authors recommended this approach, and I found the website to be very user friendly, and the product to be excellent. There are many free resources for authors, including an excellent book writing tips for online submission of your book.
    • Kindle Direct Publishing – This is another Amazon company that allows you to self-publish electronic books (ebooks) with no money up front. They have good directions on how to convert a paperback book file to an ebook file, and they provide many options for pricing and marketing.
    • Book Marketing Tools – This website has many resources, and the owners also do online webinars and podcasts with interviews of various publishing experts – hugely helpful in learning the ins and outs of how to market a self published book.
    • Build Your Author Platform by Carole Jelen and Michael McAllister – I listened to a webinar interview  (courtesy of Book Marketing Tools) of Carole Jelen as she described this book, and her explanation of the self-publishing arena was superb. The book website linked here also has many free resources.
    • Your First 1000 Copies by author/consultant Tim Grahl – I bought the ebook, and it is extremely helpful – he gives commonsense advice on how to think of oneself as a self-publishing author.
    • This calculator at is a great way to see how self-publishing and traditional publishing can compare monetarily.
  • DRAFTING A BOOK PROPOSAL – Click to download this Book Proposal Template – a book proposal is the first step for any author in writing a book. The format is based on Brian Klems’ “Eight Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal” in Writers Digest.
  • DRAFTING A BOOK – I shared a Book Template for Students (click to download it) with my students to save them the time of figuring out how to format their books for publishing. This template was modified from the one provided by Kawasaki and Welch at
  • BLOGGING – You can format blog posts and insure that each post has all of the right ingredients to be effective by using the Blogging Template and Checklist (click to download). Some key points come from author and blogger Jurgen Appelo at
  • EDITING AND REVISING – We organized ourselves as a Writing Critique Group (see The Writer’s Craft for a good description). Click to download our Writing Critique Group Guidance.
  • BETA READING – Find beta readers to review your draft book and provide feedback. Good beta readers are experts in the subject of your book, authors and publishing professionals, and members of your target audience. Click to download our Beta Reader Checklist for Authors.
  • FINAL EDITING – Consider hiring a professional copy editor. One source is through CreateSpace’s author services at
  • PUBLISHING – To self-publish a paperback and ebook, good formats for high school student author books, click to download this Self-Publishing Checklist for Amazon.
  • MARKETING – Marketing your book begins the moment you start thinking about it–you need to start months before publication. Click to download this one-page Marketing Checklist for Authors.
  • COVER DESIGN – One of the most important things in making a book appealing is the cover design. Very few self-published authors can do their own covers successfully, and an amateurish cover is an immediate turnoff to readers. Here are some reasonably priced professional cover design sources (courtesy of author and publisher, Amy Deardon, of Ebook Listing Services):
    • – Professional design firm – most expensive of the options here.
    • 99 Designs – You submit a proposal for a cover and a suggested price, cover artists submit their design ideas, and you pick the one you like best.
    • Fiverr – This site is an exchange where you can find many different writing and artistic services, including book covers–all starting at $5.
  • FINAL THOUGHTS: Click to download my Ten Tips for Mentoring Student Authors.

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